According to ongoing CivicScience tracking, the percentage of adults who self-report they’re ‘worse off’ as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been growing, hitting a new high of 35% in the most recent week of data.

This is amid increasingly high concerns about gas prices and inflation. Concern over gas and energy prices reached an all-time high of 94% this week, with more than half of all adults (54%) reporting they’re ‘very concerned’. Those who are ‘very concerned’ about inflation also reached a high point of 59%.

It’s no surprise that with these issues only accelerating –and with a third of the population in a worse position financially– that people are feeling less satisfied with the amount of money they’re making. Consumers have the lowest levels of household income satisfaction we’ve seen throughout the entire pandemic.

Rising Prices All Around Continue to Take a Toll on Restaurant and Grocery Industries

Intent to dine out is down for the third week in a row as gas prices continue to increase and consumers are forced to spend more in other areas, such as groceries. 

With food prices on the rise, more people are prioritizing price over brand when it comes to shopping for food (30%). In fact, the percentage of U.S. adults who value food prices over food brands is the highest we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Impact of Rising Cases

Despite a substantial increase in recent COVID cases across the U.S., fewer people are feeling concerned about being in public spaces this week. 

Reported concern about being in public spaces varies by region. Those living in the Northeast and West –where cases have been highest– have felt increasingly more worried about being out in public in recent weeks.

Intent to travel via airplane in the next month is the highest we have seen (26%) despite inflation concerns. However, as concern over gas prices continues to surge, plans to travel via other forms of transportation (such as a road trip) are decreasing.